Monday, 22 August 2011

Beauty Box Showdown: Glossybox vs Boudoir Prive

Left to right: Boudoir Prive box; GlossyBox

In the past couple of months, two companies have released beauty boxes into the UK market, providing monthly deliveries of trial-sized products which cost £10 a month on a subscription basis.  But which is best?  Read on for a comparison on the first Boudoir Prive box, dispatched in August, and the first GlossyBox, dispatched in May.


The two beauty boxes are incredibly similar in their outer postal packaging - both arrive in heavy duty yet still pretty printed cardboard, with their pink inner boxes nestled within.  The inner boxes (which contain the product) are nigh on identical - very similar shades of pale pink, with a black accent in the centre of the top face to give a bit of brand identity.  The GlossyBox sports the brand's stylised crown logo, with the Boudoir Prive box attired in a more verbose stamp design bearing the brand's name.  The GlossyBox features a fully removable lift-off lid, where the Boudoir Prive box has a folding flap lid.  

Boudoir Prive

The internal packaging is also spookily similar.  Black tissue paper wraps the products, which lie on black shredded cardboard, with a pale pink ribbon tying the whole kit and kaboodle together.  Note that the placement of the brand logo sticker, which holds the tissue paper closed, is exactly the same.  At this stage, I was starting to wonder if perhaps these boxes are created by the same company.  Otherwise, one could speculate that the Boudoir Prive folk (who launched after Glossybox) were perhaps inspired by the first-to-market product.

Product Selection


The GlossyBox contains five products, including a full size All For Eve lipstick and NARS Orgasm Illuminator (in the old, discontinued packaging), and smaller sample sizes of Como Shambala Invigorate body lotion, Bionova cleanser, and Alterna hair repair spray.  My first thought upon opening the box was "OMGFULLSIZENARSPRODUCT" (and I suspect many others thought the same).  I feel mildly guilty about the inclusion of the All For Eve lipstick - it is, first and foremost, a charity product, designed to raise money for the Eve Appeal, which funds gynaecological cancer research.  Its retail cost is 50p more than the £10 you'd pay for a GlossyBox.  I hope this doesn't mean that the charity got less money because of the lipstick's inclusion.

Overall, GlossyBox has a good range of high end brands which are likely to be recognisable to your average, well informed beauty lover.  A full size high end makeup product is always going to go down well.

Boudoir Prive
The Boudoir Prive box contains seven products - none are full size, and none are mass market brands.  The box includes Sachajuan hair repair, Jane Iredale lash conditioner, Olavie body butter, Babor night cream, two Etat Libre d'Orange perfume samples, and some tea bags.  Firstly... tea bags?  I know health and beauty are often lumped together, but tea bags are not beauty products (unless they are an eye compress or something), healthful as they are.  I've heard of Babor and Jane Iredale before, but Sachajuan is only vaguely ringing a bell in my mind, and I've not heard anything about Etat Libre d'Orange or Olavie.  The prices given in the handy leaflet included in the box tells me that these are high end, niche brands, with the full size Olavie body butter costing an eye watering £45.

Overall, the Boudoir Prive box seems to be more about niche, luxe products, and I'd expect to be surprised by the contents of future boxes more than I would with GlossyBox.  Although I really hope there isn't more tea.


What we have here are two incredibly similar products; there's nothing between them in packaging terms, with both boxes giving you an experience akin to opening a little gift rather than a box of stuff you chose and paid for.  Product wise, the selections in the launch boxes are very different - GlossyBox seems tuned more to the well informed high-end shopper, with a few curveballs thrown in, whereas Boudoir Prive seems to be aiming more for the beauty addict who's seen it all and is looking for more niche, elusive brands.

Ultimately, if you'd like a box of interesting little surprises once a month, there's not much between Boudoir Prive and GlossyBox.  GlossyBox does claim to target its box contents towards the individual (with varying results), but in essence, you're taking a risk with either box - you could end up with a load of products you love, or a load of products you don't care about.

If you'd like to subscribe to either service, the charges are £10 per month for Boudoir Prive, and £10 per month for GlossyBox, with GlossyBox rising to £12.95 from September.  What are your thoughts?  Have you received boxes from either company?  Let us know in the comments!

Disclosure: My GlossyBox was a PR sample, and I subscribed to Boudoir Prive for the purposes of comparison using my own money.


  1. Hum. I didn't subscribe to any of this boxes but the boudoir box seems more interesting:)

  2. I love Jane Iredale! Her products are a little more mainstream in the US - usually found in high-end salons and spas and I wore JI make-up for my wedding! Would love to hear how you like that product.

  3. Etat Libre is fairly well known as a niche brand in the fragrance community and I believe that a later Glossybox also featured samples from them.

    The prices for the boxes seem great on a monthly basis but over a year the total could buy me quite a lot of stuff I actually want.

  4. The co-incidences in packaging and websites are not co-incidences. Both companies are owned or invested in by venture capital firms and one of the VC firms invests in the other VC firm. What is a co-incidence is that both companies have a VC manager with the same first name!


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